John Fogerty recalls his desire to ‘make America better’

John Fogerty said the current US political situation is “very similar” to the civil rights era of the 60s and 70s, which inspired many of his Creedence Clearwater Revival songs.

In a new interview with Billboardhe reflected on the fact that he had been described as “one of America’s most politically significant songwriters” at the time.

“Well, I took it very seriously,” Fogerty said. “When things seemed unfair and they shook my sense of balance and justice and equality, I thought like, ‘We’ve got to fix this. We’ve got to make America better.’ And of course, in America at that time, civil rights was a very high priority among people, especially young people. I think it still is in certain parts of our society.”

Asked to compare that era to today’s politics, he argued, “There’s a very similar situation now. One of the differences, for me at [least]is back in the 60s, I always felt that the young people – meaning the people who were my age at the time – all felt pretty much the same, sort of left-wing, liberal, wanted to improve America’s civil rights and social rights and stand more for the things that were in our constitution.

“It seemed like the young people identified with it and the conflict was basically between young and old people. Today it’s not that simple and you’ll find that even young people in certain political bodies or ideologies say things , which I definitely don’t agree with, and you find young AND old people on the other side.”

Fogerty went on to lament the way political conversations play out in the modern world. “There were people in the ’60s and ’70s who expressed the conservative side…but you knew they were gentlemen. You knew they might have a different mindset, but expressed it quite eloquently. We didn’t throw chairs after each other while we were trying to figure things out. That’s the part that’s pretty disturbing now; I don’t think people are listening. I think they’re just trying to say what they’re saying louder than the other guy .”

He also reported that new music was “on the mind” with “a lot of ideas and a few finished songs,” adding, “It’s the kind of swampy music that I love to make. That’s what I feel.”

Ranking of every Creedence Clearwater Revival Album

There was simply one brilliant piece of songwriting followed by another from frontman John Fogerty over the course of these seven records.


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